Cobra Para-Viper (2008)

I’ve been more than a little hard on some of the 25th anniversary figures. Some of my distaste stems from disappointment with the figures having them in hand vs in the package. In 2007-2008, I was so excited to get new GI Joes based on classic designs, but then ended up mostly bagging them and relegating them to storage. A few choice figures however remained out on display.

The Cobra Para-Viper was, at first glance among others in his wave, not a figure I thought I would like. He kind of seemed like he would be too busy of a figure, with all of the gear attached to him. My opinion changed once I freed him from his packaging. I was brought back to memories of one of my favorite heavily accessorized Cobra troopers of the 80s, specifically the Snow Serpent. Here was a figure that, like the classic arctic Cobra, not only perfectly represented his specialty, but featured some interesting unexpected gear. It was also very refreshing to have a newly created Cobra among the rehashes of old figures.

All of the expected paratrooper accessories are here, from a jump harness to helmet and breathing gear to a compact submachine gun. What really amazes me are the rifle and swim fins. Both add an extra dimension to the figure, extending his useability beyond jumping from a perfectly good airplane. The rifle has a cool folding stock and a removable magazine and tripod.

The jump gear is removable, and the figure underneath can be outfitted as a serviceable looking commando figure, albeit with bright highlights and without a helmet, but hey, this is Cobra after all. The unique forearms work with both the paratrooper design as well as the Eel background of the trooper, and bring to mind the 90s Eels’ arm fins. Combined with the detailed new lower legs, the somewhat tiring Ace body mold overall gets a bit of new life. It’s too bad the Para-Viper wasn’t equipped with a more battle-ready helmet to wear.

The overall look is one that somewhat recalls early Cobra troop design. I’m especially reminded of the early Marvel comic issues and some of the specialized comic-only Cobra troops that were scattered about before the toy line later branched out. It combines realism with a few unique elements to create a really fun, playable and useful modern figure.

12 comments

  • I really love the Para-Viper. While I’ve never been much of an army-builder, I was super tempted to stock up on these guys. I didn’t wind up doing so because I never saw another one the pegs, but I suppose that’s a testament to how great a figure this guy is. The paratrooper gear is really well-designed and I love that it’s all removable. The bright trim colors are a little tough, but I’m willing to forgive it since paratroopers probably do wear something visible so they can find each other while in freefall to avoid nasty midair collisions. My only criticism is that I wasn’t a big fan of his rifle. The SMG is really cool, but the rifle and bayonet just doesn’t work for me even those I do love the fact that it has a foldable stock, a removable clip and a removable bipod (however, full disclosure, apparently at some point in my apartment the Para-Viper decided to go skydiving while I was away and the bipod was forever lost in my apartment’s thick carpet) but it just doesn’t really work for me as a good weapon for a paratrooper.

  • I really like this guys colours. I like the contrasting orange and yellow parts. He seems really good value for money; look at all those bits he comes with!

    On the subject of jumping out of a perfectly good aeroplane. One of my favorite lines from BAND OF BROTHERS was “Your talking to a bunch of guys who volunteered to jump out of a perfectly good aeroplane into enemy territory”

    And on the subjetct of perfectly good Aeroplanes. Today i picked up the soldier force AB115-THUNDER KNIGHT. I’m going to repaint it in Sky patrol colours

  • I’ve got two of these guys, as I am glad that they did decide to include some newer material in the 25th Anniversary line–so much so, that they brought them back for the ROC line.

  • Para-viper is a great, great figure. Just enough realism to be military, just enough color to have some personality. The helmet and parachuting rig is well sculpted, but I was honestly impressed with the detail of the sculpt on the gloves and boots. They are just well sculpted and look really cool. Maybe I was struck by that because of customizing. Again, awesome figure, he’s one of the first that showed me where the 4″ GI Joe line could go in terms of sculpting detail.

  • Being primarily a RAH style collector, I passed on him, he looked tall even by modern era standards. Nice to see this long overdue specialist for Cobra made though. The colors seem later day ARAH, when purple seemed to replace “Cobra Blue”

  • The large machine gun is actually an accurate scaled sculpt of the WW2 German Paratroopers FG 42. Hasbro deserves kudos for using that weapon as the main weapon for the Para Viper and fitting too given it was a highly successful machine gun used by the feared ‘Fallschrimjagers’ (look it up ;)) of the German Luftwaffe. Its sculpted with bayonet attached but the other features, folding shoulder butt and removable ammo clip are accurate. The bipod sculpted on the toy in ‘up’ mode is inaccurate as the real deal had collapsable side arms that clipped to the sides of the barrel unlike the moulded toy one which simply comes off in inverted ‘v’ shape.

  • I really liked this guy. I have two, as it was included in two waves one after the other I recall. I liked displaying them with their full gear on. According to Hasbro, the colours of the Para Viper, purple, black, neon orange were to match with the classic Cobra Mamba…In terms of realism, this figure is a HALO – High Altitude, Low Opening Parachutist; this is why he has the fins on his arms for movement in the sky as he wants and the swim fins for use when HALO’s hit the water as this is the commonest form of HALO jump…hence these inclusions on the figure.

    Sans his pack, they look really cool with the under harness still on as then he has a belt as well around his waist, I also used to display one like this but with the helmet on as it had a heavy assault / night vision ops look about it and ‘very Cobraish’ too!

  • @sf1378
    I’m a millitary historian so i didnt need to look it up, i know exactly what a Fallschrijager is.
    How about this “Der Fuhur ist ein dumkoff mit ein shisahousea”

    I like your avatar by the way. Reminds me of the times before Lego sold out to every franchise under the sun

    As for HALO jumpers? I wonder how many people have typed that into google onto to find Mastercheif

    • I think you meant: Der Leader ist ein Dummkopf mit einem Scheißhaus?

      Proper spelling there 🙂

      I agree, I’m sure many kids connect HALO with that game…thanks about the avatar, was my very first Lego set as a child. My all time favourite set too…which I also own again mint complete amongst others.

      I read that the grip for the FG 42 was angled in that manner for firing from the hip, even if in free fall.

    • Verdammt … ich meinte Führer…etc, etc…

  • @sf1378
    Thanks for the spell check. I’ve peiced most of my German from war comics “Himmel, nein, actung”. I took German classes in middleschool but my teacher like Jasper from the Simpsons. He’d send us home becasue he’d get his beard caught in something

    On the subject of German translations. When Gobots were released in Europe do you think Leader-1 was called “Fuhrer ein” ?

    On the subject of lego, i let my neice play with my police station one day. She twisted the bank robber into an awkward position and then threw him into the cell rougly. When her Mother [my sister] asked her what we were doing i said “We’re playing police brutality”

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